This seemingly ordinary furniture makes an extraordinary difference. For forest workers in Bolivia it means the chance for a better life.25.01.2012 - During last week's International Furnishing Show (Cologne, Germany), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Fairtrade presented a new kind of furniture: the first to carry the dual FSC and Fairtrade label. In a unique pilot project between the two organisations, small-scale and community producers in developing countries can access the international market, and improve their living and working conditions.

This furniture is made of timber that was certified both with FSC and Fairtrade and comes from the co-operative Multiagro in Bolivia. It includes tables, cupboards, benches and chairs (click here for more information).

FSC certification ensures compliance with forest management standards that include strict social, ecological and economical criteria. Fairtrade ensures that the farmers receive not only a fair price for their sustainably harvested wood, but also that there is a Fairtrade Development Premium to invest in the community.

For many rural communities forests are an important means for earning a living, as well as to maintaining their ethnic identity and culture. Plans for the first Fairtrade Premium payment are already in discussion - educational material for the community’s children is at the top of the list. Future investments into a scholarship fund so children can attend secondary school and a health fund to cover treatment expenses are also being considered. 

The most important question for us is whether there are buyers prepared to purchase the products made from our FSC and Fairtrade-certified timber“, says Juan Pablo Demeure from Multiagro, who is leading the family business in the second generation. “The whole project will only work if there are customers who are willing to pay a little bit more for the timber.”

For more information on Fairtrade, FSC and the timber project download here the fact sheet.
To download Fairtrade Standards for timber click here.